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Don't Be an OSHA Statistic: Preparedness & Facility Response Plan Tips

Posted on Thu, Mar 09, 2017

Every day across the United States, employees go to work expecting a typical day on the job.  Yet OSHA’s Reports of Fatalities and Incidents for Fiscal Year 2016 reveals that one or more work-related fatalities and incidents occurs daily. While some jobs are more hazardous than others, the detailed summary indicated 1,080 OSHA reported instances in 2016. How many more incidents go unreported?   Not only do emergencies and incidents happen, they happen every day - highlighting the importance of preparedness and response planning.


"It Won’t Happen Here"

When incidents occur, urgent and rapid decision making combined with a lack of resources and untrained personnel can lead to chaos and exacerbate the emergency. Response plans can minimize the chaos with pre-identified processes. To establish effective response plans capable of protecting employees and building occupants, companies should conduct analyses to identify necessary site-specific safety measures, including those required for regulatory compliance. Analyses should identify the following details:

  1. Site Analysis
  • Identify existing and potential site hazards through employee feedback, audits, and detailed inspections.
  1. Task Analysis
  • Determine job specific methods and procedures for each employee’s duty to reduce or eliminate associated hazards.
  • Review and update methods and procedure when an incident occurs, job responsibilities change, or if hazards are identified through analysis.
  1. Risk Analysis
  • Establish risk evaluation criteria, probability of incident, and potential consequences.
  • Monitor and review procedures for continuous improvement, effectiveness, control measures and changed conditions.

Besides the major benefit of providing guidance during an emergency, the preparedness process and analyses have other advantages. You may discover:

  • Unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation
  • Deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies)
  • Mitigation opportunities that can rectified incidents before an emergency occurs.


The Response Plan

Comprehensive, compliant, and functional response plans should be created to address a broad scope of planned responses for a variety of probable emergency and crisis situations. However, if a facility has a high-risk potential for a specific scenario, supplemental response plans can be added to the overall emergency management program. Inclusive programs may include a variety of plans including Facility Response Plans, Fire Pre-Plans, and Incident Response Plans, etc.  Response plans should include the following minimum information:

  • Building description
  • Plot plan(s) and floor plan(s)
  • Owner/Manager contact information
  • Emergency equipment inventory and locations
  • Evacuation routes
  • Emergency Assembly Point details
  • Internal and/or external emergency personnel information and contact details
  • Specific hazard details and possible safety data sheet information, if applicable
  • Utility shut-off locations and descriptions
  • Alarm(s) description
  • Policies and processes situational checklists
  • Job specific procedures

Industry factory in kawasaki at night.jpeg

A Plan for Every Site

An enterprise-wide response planning system can provide the framework required to ensure every facility under the corporate umbrella is compliant and prepared for the unexpected. An enterprise-wide system can remove many of the challenges associated with managing multiple response plans, streamline the update process, and simplify plan reviews, ensuring a consistent path toward compliance and readiness.

An enterprise-wide response planning system should:

  • Support the ability to execute company-approved response strategies across multiple locations/facilities
  • Easily incorporate company growth and facility acquisitions
  • Enable site-specific details while not compromising company directives
  • Facilitate the ability to update corporate planning elements across locations, sites, geographies, without compromising site-specific details and response challenges
  • Be easily updated with minimal dedicated staff
  • Become an easily accessible, yet secured, shared tool for internal and external responders
  • Allow for streamlined regulatory compliance audits
  • Automate and optimizes response planning training and exercise activities
  • Reduce non-compliance issues on a company-wide scale
  • Automate regulatory governance with electronic submissions


Don’t be a Statistic 

With the revelation of the OSHA statistics, companies should ensure safety and preparedness is at the forefront of operations. Whether a company has one site or multiple facilities across the globe, response plans promote safety awareness and may help minimize the chance that of one of you employees becomes an OSHA statistic.


Preparedness and Emergency Management - TRP Corp

Tags: OSHA, Facility Response Plan, Response Plans, corporate preparedness

Regulatory Compliance: New OSHA Standard for Confined Space Entry

Posted on Thu, Dec 03, 2015

Confined spaces, such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks, are not designed for continuous occupancy and are difficult to exit in the event of an emergency. People working in confined spaces may face life-threatening hazards including potential exposure to toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation.

In May 2015, OSHA issued a final standard, known as Subpart AA of part 1926 of the Code of Federal Regulations, regarding construction workers who work in confined spaces. According to Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, the new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. “We estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year”, said Perez.

The standard requires employers at construction sites to determine key confined space elements. Key provisions of the final standard require employers to:

  • Determine what kinds of spaces their employees will be in, what hazards could be there, and how those hazards should be made safe
  • Train each employee whose work is regulated by this standard, at no cost to the employee
  • Develop and implement a written confined space program if employees will enter permit spaces
  • Take effective steps to prevent employees from entering those spaces, if employees will not need to enter the permit spaces
  • Provide rescue and emergency services for employees who enter permit spaces, should anything go wrong

The standard applies to all construction workers who may be exposed to confined space hazards, such as those who work in boilers, tanks, storage bins, silos, stacks, vaults, pits, chambers, sewers, manholes, crawl spaces, and many more locations that have cramped spaces and narrow openings. According to OSHA, there are three characteristics of confined spaces:

  • It is big enough for a person to fit his or her entire body
  • It is restrictive for the person entering and exiting
  • The space is not meant for someone to stay in for a long period of time

The new rule provides construction employees with protections similar to general industry standard (29 CFR 1910.146). However, there are several different components tailored to the construction industry. The new Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926, includes:

  • More detailed provisions for coordinating activities with other employers at the site
  • Competent site evaluation in order to identify confined and permit spaces
  • Requirement for continuous atmospheric monitoring, when possible
  • Requirement for continuous monitoring of engulfment hazards
  • Allowing for the suspension of a permit, instead of cancellation
  • Requiring that employers eliminate or isolate any physical hazards before directing employees to enter a space without using a complete permit system
  • Requiring that employers who are relying on local entities for emergency services to arrange for those responders to give the employer advance notice if they will be unable to respond for a period of time
  • Requiring employers to provide training in a language and vocabulary that the employee understands
OSHA uses the term permit-required confined space (PRCS) to describe a space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress

Construction site employers with PRCS must maintain a program detailing their PRCS
and comply with various safety requirements including, but not limited to:

  • Danger and warning signs that alert workers about the PRCS
  • Permits for safe entry operations, which also feature atmospheric test results
  • Certified documents detailing alternative entry procedures and safety methods for workers in the PRCS
  • A professional engineer’s written approval to ensure that employees know the provisions and limitations of using specifically designed personnel hoisting systems
  • Safety data sheets for workers who are exposed in the PRCS
  • Employee training records to confirm confined space training requirements
TRP Corp - Emergency Response Planning Crisis Management

Tags: OSHA, Regulatory Compliance

OSHA's Top 10 Affirms Need for Regulatory Compliance Tracking System

Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

In mid-October, six people were injured when seven stories of scaffolding collapsed at an apartment construction site in busy downtown Houston. The cause of the collapse is currently being investigated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors. Unfortunately, scenes like the one that occurred in downtown Houston continue to occur across the United States in staggering numbers.

OSHA recently announced its preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for 2015. These preliminary ranking were based on figures through September 8, 2015. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 at the 2015 National Safety Council Congress & Expo held in Atlanta, GA. As with years past, fall protection and scaffolding incidents continually rank in the Top 10 violations. The list incorporates worksite inspection findings of Federal OSHA inspectors from across the country.

Every month, audits and enforcement mandates are issued from various federal and state agencies. Costly non-compliance fines continually result from the lack of an implemented, thorough, or effective regulatory compliance program. Ideally, companies should utilize this list to conduct assessments, identify potential site-specific compliance lapses, and mitigate these highly recognized hazards. When companies deliberately protect lives, prevent hazardous environmental impacts, limit property damage, and eliminate regulatory fines, prioritizing an EHS program becomes an investment in the sustainability of a company.

The Top 10 for FY 2015 violations include:

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,721
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,295
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,002
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760
  7. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,489
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973

It is often impractical for companies to spend relentlessly on emergency management mitigation efforts. However, regulatory compliance, required safety processes, and response planning should not be compromised for expedited operations and profitability. Prevention, mitigation, and planning costs should be analyzed against the financial impacts and potential stigma of non-compliance and emergency scenarios. These costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Human life
  • Short term or long term business interruption
  • Lawsuit(s)
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Equipment failure
  • Inventory/stock losses
  • Fines
  • Reputation
  • Environmental destruction

"Far too many people are still killed on the job - 13 workers every day taken from their families tragically and unnecessarily.” said Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor. “These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires.”

Regulatory non-compliance continually proves to be expensive, time consuming, and potentially dangerous to employees, surrounding communities, and the long term viability of companies. An effective compliance management system, mitigation efforts, and employee training can result in an efficient and integrated program that optimizes safety and regulatory compliance while minimizing potential costs and downtime.

Regulatory Compliance with TRP Corp

Tags: OSHA, Regulatory Compliance

How to Manage Preparedness Training for Multiple Downstream Facilties

Posted on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

Luck runs out, but safety is good for life.  ~Author Unknown

Whether an industrial facility is domestically located or abroad, ensuring compliance, employee safety, and an effective response requires a comprehensive training and exercise program. All training and exercise components within a corporate enterprise should address site-specific operations, appropriate response processes, standardized company-wide best practices, and maintain location-specific regulatory compliance.

The challenge of managing and ensuring compliant training programs for multiple facilities and various regulatory agencies is complex. Certification efforts, enforcement mandates, and costly non-compliance fines may result from the lack of implemented, thorough, or effective programs. By utilizing available technology to manage an enterprise-wide training approach, companies can verify compliance and response readiness through a cohesive, yet site-specific standardization of best practices.

Through proper maintenance of a training portal, individuals will remain at peak optimal response capabilities. Training should include, but not be limited to:

  • Response plan familiarization
  • Individual roles and responsibilities
  • Plan review training whenever a substantial change or revision is made to the plan that affects organization, procedures, roles and responsibilities, or response capability.
  • Refresher courses, as necessary

Mid to large size companies should implement a preparedness and response training management system with the ability to identify and sort specialized data. When a company has multiple facilities, a centralized web-based database of scheduled, lapsed, and completed training enable facility managers to focus their efforts on operations and profitability. With a comprehensive, web-based, database-driven training management system, emergency managers and health, safety, and environmental departments can:

  1. Simplify training reviews
  2. Easily identify training inception and expiration dates
  3. Verify responder knowledge and ensure employee accountability
  4. Identify regulatory compliance training gaps
  5. Account for preparedness endeavors and associated costs
  6. Ease maintenance and administrative efforts

For companies looking to systematically manage the training and development of their staff, an enterprise-wide training management system is critical. Managing several disparate systems and multiple paper files is cumbersome and time consuming. Maintaining training information in a single, consolidated system provides significant benefits. A web-based training management system provides authorized users with secured access from a variety of locations. As facilities are added or modified, operations are revised, or employees are re-assigned, training records can be conveniently added, accessed, transferred, or updated for accuracy and compliance. A comprehensive, web-based training management system will:

  • Reduce the need for multiple site training management and documentation
  • Minimize administrative costs
  • Minimize training discrepancies across an enterprise
  • Provide a historical record of training certifications
  • Streamline training directives from one source
  • Serve as a legal instrument, if necessary
  • Engage management in prioritizing preparedness efforts
  • Enhance reporting functionality
  • Identify regulatory compliance training gaps

Training administration can be time-consuming and difficult, particularly in medium to large companies with staff employed in different roles across a variety of physical locations. A customized training management system can streamline this administrative effort, making it easy to ensure staff members receive the appropriate training, and instructors are supported with the necessary resources. A comprehensive system can

  • Track and report training completion or status by discipline, skill, position, individual, location, or over a specific time period
  • Generate summary reports that provide a snapshot of various mandated training versus completed and scheduled events
  • Print automated certifications and wallet cards

Advanced web-based technologies can also facilitate online training and provide classroom resources. While it is not essential to implementing web-based training, it can reduce costs associated with classroom instruction.  Some web-based training solutions include tools to share critical training information and lesson plans with students, reducing the time required to duplicate and distribute training materials across an enterprise.

While optimizing training is critical for regulatory compliance and safety, cost is always a deciding factor. Implementing a customized training management system in highly regulated environments is a proactive, cost-savings measure that can reduce the overall costs associated with incidents, training maintenance, and non-compliance.

For a free download entitled, "Tips on How to Conduct an Effective Exercise", click the image below:

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: OSHA, Training and Exercises, Workplace Safety, HAZWOPER, HSE Program

Expert Insight on Emergency Response Tabletop Exercises and Scenarios

Posted on Fri, Jun 20, 2014

Emergency response training simulations are an integral part of a sound emergency management program. Exercises offer training opportunities for responders to strengthen their capacity for responding to various site-specific emergencies. By facilitating different types of drills and exercises, facilities can identify the appropriate methods for preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from crises.

Real world exercise scenarios can often highlight potential deficiencies in response plans, individual comprehension of response roles and responsibilities, and partnership coordination efforts. Deficiencies often reveal mitigation opportunities and valuable response knowledge that can be applied to response plans and an actual emergency response situations.

There are various types of emergency drills and exercises for response training and planning validation. Companies can test response plans with simple orientations and drills, and work their way toward full-scale exercises, inclusive of multiple components and coordinated efforts.

A tabletop exercise is one of the simplest type of comprehensive exercises to conduct in terms of planning, preparation, and coordination. It should facilitate analyses of an emergency situation and the most effective processes to respond and recover. The informal, stress-free environment should be designed to prompt constructive discussions about existing emergency response plans as participants identify, investigate and resolve issues. The success of the exercise is mainly determined by the identification of problem areas, and applying applicable corrections.

These exercises should replicate realistic and site-specific emergency scenarios that allow participants to increase their awareness of roles and responsibilities required to respond, stabilize, terminate, and recover from emergencies. In preparation for these exercises, companies should develop exercise planning documents, including participant's and controller’s packages that contain exercise objectives, scenarios, ground rules, and simulation scripts. These guidelines, at a minimum, should be provided to all participants prior to the exercise to allow for a thorough examination of exercise expectations. A training and exercise management system can streamline and simplify the documentation and administrative duties associated with exercises planning.

The goal of a tabletop exercise program should be to improve the overall readiness and capabilities of emergency response program that encourages:

  • Realistic scenarios
  • Proper training validation
  • Effective emergency plans
  • Action item identification
  • Operational response capabilities
  • Personnel preparedness to respond to incidents, regardless of the threat or hazard

The Department of Homeland Security addresses four types of exercise scenarios used in risk management and emergency planning:

1. Basic Scenario:  Provides basic information about one specific variable or risk, such as internal or external hazard, attack type, or potential target. Scenarios can be used to establish response parameters and instructions based on a singular applicable variable (Ex: tank 101 fire or leak at a loading dock).

2. Narrative Scenario: Story-like, highly detailed scenarios with many fixed factors. Narrative drills are typically used for planning purposes rather than risk analysis. Narratives identify characteristics of a scenario, detailed background information, and each components of the scenario.

3. Visual Modeling:  Highly structured scenarios that display multiple potential variables of an emergency situation. Depending on the level of detail, visual models can become highly comprehensive and complex. The Department of Homeland Security identifies three methods of visual planning: attack paths, fault trees and event trees.

Attack paths: A systematic method that examines the sequence of events that occurred prior to the incident.

Fault trees: A detailed, deductive tool is used to assess the ill-fated sequence of events that led to the incident. A fault tree highlights potential hazards and ineffective processes.

Event trees: Assess the components it takes to respond and recover from an incident. Event trees highlight the necessary planning initiatives required to counteract the incident.

4. Future Scenario: Speculative narratives that consider how trends, such as social media usage or global warming, will impact future risks. This scenario can to identify “future-state” planning strategies against a range of alternative risk possibilities.

For a free download entitled, "Tips on How to Conduct an Effective Exercise", click the image below:

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises


Tags: Tabletop Exercise, OSHA, Emergency Management, Response Plans, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program

Managing Multiple Emergency Action Plans: The Template Approach

Posted on Thu, May 29, 2014

Enterprise-wide standardization breeds familiarity. Yet, each facility requires customization due to site-specific risks, threats, and emergency response challenges. This continually evolving component of preparedness, response planning, and regulatory compliance complicates the administrative duties associated with maintaining a company’s multiple Emergency Action Plans (EAPs).

Technology, such as a web-based planning system, provides companies with the tools to balance enterprise-wide standardization and site-specific regulatory criteria. Companies responsible for multiple buildings, possibly in various locations, should demonstrate a commitment to emergency management by creating a systematic template for incident response policies, procedures, and practices. Yet, these templates should enable users to incorporate the detailed, site-specific data necessary for an effective response.

While much of the information required in an EAP is site-specific, a template approach ensures regulatory requirements are communicated and pre-approved company protocols are identified. At a minimum, a template for EAPs should include:

  • Procedure(s) for reporting a fire or other emergency
  • Procedure(s) for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments
  • Procedure(s) to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
  • Procedure(s) to account for all employees after evacuation
  • Procedure(s) to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties
  • Contact Information of company/building/site management
  • Alarm system details

The primary goal of an EAP is to protect lives. To establish effective EAPs capable of protecting employees or building occupants, companies should conduct analyses to identify necessary site-specific safety measures, including those required in OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.38 regulation. Analyses should identify the following details:

1. Site Analysis

  • Identify existing and potential site hazards through employee feedback, audits, and detailed inspections.

2. Task Analysis

  • Determine job specific methods and procedures for each employee’s duty to reduce or eliminate associated hazards.
  • Review and update methods and procedure when an incident occurs, job responsibilities change, or if hazards are identified through analysis.

3. Risk Analysis

  • Establish risk evaluation criteria, probability of incident, and potential consequences.
  • Monitor and review procedures for continuous improvement, effectiveness, control measures and changed conditions.

After initial analyses, site-specific EAPs should be developed and shared with building occupants. Depending on the characteristics of the building, and inherent roles and responsibilities of the occupants, an EAP may be a component of a comprehensive emergency response-planning program.  This inclusive program may include Facility Response Plans and site-specific Fire Pre Plans. Building emergency response plans should include the following minimum information:

●       Building description

●       Owner/Manager contact information

●       Emergency Assembly Point details

●       Internal and/or external emergency personnel information and contact details

●       Specific hazard details and possible MSDS information, if applicable

●       Utility shut-off locations and descriptions

●       Alarm(s) description

●       Emergency equipment inventory and locations

●       Plot plan(s) and floor plan(s)

●       Risk, site and task identified situational checklists and job specific procedures

Emergency management programs, especially those inclusive of multiple buildings, should include health, safety and environmental training to communicate regulatory requirements, site response methods, and other applicable required safety training. EAPs require that companies designate and train employees to assist in the safe and orderly evacuation of other employees. Job and site specific training should be implemented for current employees, new hires, or supervisors that may need to carry out direct reports’ responsibilities.

Safety audits, inspections, task analyses, and incident investigations often identify a need for additional training and/or highlight necessary changes that may apply response plans.  EAPs must be reviewed when:

  • Initial plan is developed
  • A new employee is assigned to the EAP
  • Employee emergency response role or responsibilities change
  • Plan is revised


Challenged with managing preparedness amongst your various facilites? Download TRP's best practices guide on response planning for large organizations with multi-facility operations.

Multiple Facility Response Planning Company Preparedness Guide DOWNLOAD

Tags: OSHA, Regulatory Compliance, Emergency Management Program, Workplace Safety, Emergency Action Plan

Managing Response Plans for Multiple Regulatory Agencies

Posted on Thu, Mar 20, 2014

The challenge of managing and ensuring compliant response plans for multiple facilities and multiple regulatory agencies is daunting. When audits reveal planning gaps, unless amended, enforcement mandates and costly non-compliance fines may result from the lack of an implemented, thorough, or effective regulatory compliance programs. By utilizing an enterprise-wide template approach to response plans, companies can satisfy multiple regulatory requirements through a cohesive, yet site-specific standardization of best practices.

In order for emergency plans to be timely, effective, and compliant, site-specific facility information and operational hazards must be addressed and included in a template plan. Off-the-shelf, generic response plan templates will not address every aspect required of an emergency plan. Utilizing generic templates often results in incomplete, ineffective, and non-regulatory compliant plans.

If templates are connected to a web-based database, site-specific information can be cross-referenced with regulatory requirements. As facilities are added or modified, operations are revised, or employees are re-assigned, each plan can be conveniently accessed and updated for accuracy and compliance.

The use of a consolidated emergency, or all-hazards response plan can be adapted to comply with multiple regulations. Annexed plans, such as fire pre plans or business continuity plans can be created to provide more specific and comprehensive response procedures. With a comprehensive, web-based response plan template, emergency managers can:

  • Reduce the need for multiple plans for a single facility
  • Minimize administrative costs
  • Simplify plan reviews
  • Minimize discrepancies across various plans
  • Streamline response directives from one source
  • More easily identify regulatory compliance gaps

The planning template must incorporate all local, state and federal regulations. The following questions may assist companies in determining site-specific information requirements for developing an emergency plan template.

1. How will the emergency be reported and response initiated?

  • Create notification procedures. Emergency notifications may include 911, National Response Center, and internal and/or external response teams
  • Identify alarms and how they will be activated.  Specific alarm signals may signal employee evacuation or shelter in place. Test alarms to confirm they are in proper working condition
  • Ensure employees are trained in immediate response actions, as described in plan
  • Identify emergency classification levels to ensure appropriate response actions and resources

2. Who will be in charge of the Incident and who will conduct additional response duties?

  • Create Emergency Management Team organizational chart and activation procedures
  • Create Emergency Management Team roles and responsibilities checklists

3. What threats affect the facility or employees?

  • Perform a detailed hazard and risk analysis
  • Create response procedures for each identified threat
  • Create a process for incident documentation
  • Utilize appropriate ICS Form(s)
4. What incidents or classification level require evacuation/shelter in place
  • Create multiple evacuation routes
  • Determine criteria as to whether evacuation goes beyond facility borders
  • Identify the muster point(s) and head count procedures

5. How are response actions sustained?

  • Identify command post locations and equipment requirements
  • Identify response resources and equipment (both internal and external)
  • Create communications checklist and identify communications equipment available
  • Identify hazard control applicability and methods
  • Detail external communications and public relations policies

6. What is done after the incident is secured?

  • Create checklist for demobilization guidelines
  • Perform a post-incident review and debriefing
  • Identify  “lessons learned”, assign action items, and update response plan accordingly

In 1996, the National Response Team published the Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP) Guidance in an effort to provide companies with the means to comply with multiple federal planning requirements required by various regulatory agencies.  The ICP, based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS), was intended to be used by companies to prepare emergency response plans for responding to releases of oil and non-radiological hazardous substances.

An industrial facility may use an ICP to incorporate one or more of the following applicable federal regulations:


  • Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation (SPCC and Facility Response Plan Requirements), 40 CFR part 112.7(d) and 112.20-.21
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Contingency Planning Requirements, 40 CFR part 264, Subpart D, 40 CFR part 265, Subpart D, and 40 CFR 279.52.
  • Risk Management Programs Regulation, 40 CFR part 68

Department of the Interior:

  • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Facility Response Plan Regulation, 30 CFR part 254

Department of Transportation/Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

  • PHMSA Pipeline Response Plan Regulation, 49 CFR part194
  • U.S. Coast Guard, Facility Response Plan Regulation, 33 CFR part 154, part F

Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • Emergency Action Plan Regulation, 29 CFR 1910.38(a)
  • OSHA's Process Safety Standard, 29 CFR 1910.119
  • OSHA's HAZWOPER Regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120

Facilities may also be subject to state emergency response planning requirements that are not included in the National Response Team ICP Guidance. Facilities are encouraged to coordinate development of their own ICP with relevant state and local agencies to ensure compliance with any additional regulatory requirements.

For a free Audit Preparedness Guide for Industrial Regulatory Compliance, click the image below:

Regulatory Compliance with TRP Corp

Tags: USCG, PHMSA, DOT, OSHA, Response Plans, EPA, OPA 90, Regulatory Compliance

Curbing Costs with Preparedness: OSHA's Top Ten Cited Standards

Posted on Thu, Jan 30, 2014

“Statistics suggest that every dollar invested in disaster preparedness yields savings of $4–$11 in disaster response, relief, and recovery.” The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Preparedness is directly tied to issues that can adversely affect profitability.  Instituting, upgrading, and/or maintaining a proactive preparedness program may be seen as a superfluous expenditure. However, when companies can deliberately protect lives, prevent hazardous environmental impacts, limit property damage, and eliminate regulatory fines, prioritizing an EHS program becomes an investment in the sustainability of a company. 

OSHA recently revealed its Top Ten most frequently cited standards for the 2013 fiscal year (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013). The list incorporates worksite inspection findings of Federal OSHA inspectors from across the country. Ideally, companies should utilize this list to conduct assessments, identify potential site-specific compliance lapses, and mitigate these highly recognized hazards. In a press release, OSHA stated, “Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.”  The Top Ten most frequently cited standards include:

  1. 1926.501 - Fall Protection
  2. 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
  3. 1926.451 - Scaffolding
  4. 1910.134 - Respiratory Protection
  5. 1910.305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods
  6. 1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks
  7. 1926.1053 - Ladders
  8. 1910.147 - Lockout/Tagout
  9. 1910.303 - Electrical, General Requirements
  10. 1910.212 - Machine Guarding

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 668 workers in 2012, down slightly from 2011. In 2012, the height of the fall was reported in 437 of the fatal falls to a lower level. Of those cases, about one in four occurred after a fall of 10 feet or less. Another one-fourth of the fatal fall cases occurred from falls of over 30 feet. Companies should utilize this information to evaluate their site-specific safety measures. By analyzing current safety elements, processes, and procedures, companies can potentially mitigate inefficiencies and substandard compliant operations.

A cost-benefit analysis of an emergency management program can highlight the potential cost savings of an effective program. Prevention, mitigation, and planning costs should be compared with the financial impact of situational recovery processes and the overall costs of an incident. These costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Human life
  • Short term or long term business interruption
  • Lawsuit(s)
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Equipment failure
  • Inventory/stock losses
  • Fines
  • Reputation
  • Environmental destruction

Additionally, companies must ensure that their facilities are compliant with OSHA requirements to develop  written Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and Fire Prevention Plans. The requirement is based on the number of employees that are physically in a facility at any time of the working day. The regulation states that employers with 10 or fewer employees do not have to create a written EAP. However, employers are still required by OSHA to communicate an EAP to staff. An EAP must communicate the following minimum requirements:

  • Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(2))
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical operations before they evacuate (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(3))
  • Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(4))
  • Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(5))
  • Means of reporting fires or other emergencies (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(1))
  • The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan. (29 CFR 1910.38(c)(6))
For a free download on Fire Pre Plans, click the image below:
TRP Corp Fire Pre-Plans Pre Fire Plan

Tags: OSHA HAZWOPER, OSHA, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Management Program, Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Preparedness Measures: Can you Afford Non-Compliance?

Posted on Mon, Jan 27, 2014

The increasing number of stringent regulatory compliance standards compounds the complexity of industrial operations. Many companies believe they have the compliance component of their business under control. Others take a reactionary role rather than a proactive approach.  Without a proactive approach, incidents affecting the financial bottom line of companies, their communities, and surrounding environments will continue.

Every month, audits and enforcement mandates are issued from various federal and state agencies that oversee industrial facilities. Agencies such as OSHA, EPA, and DOT’s PHMSA inspect and fine offending companies for non-compliance for a variety of infractions. Costly non-compliance fines continually result from the lack of an implemented, thorough, or effective preparedness planning and regulatory compliance programs.

Associated penalties are continually increasing. In April of 2013, the PHMSA issued a ruling that incorporated new civil penalties. The ruling included:

  • Increasing the maximum fine possible from $55,000 to $75,000, for knowingly violating the law
  • Revising the maximum penalty from $110,000 to $175,000, for knowingly violating the law in a way that results in “death, serious illness, or severe injury” to a person, or which causes substantial destruction of property
  • Eliminating the minimum civil penalty amount, since most fines are well over the previous set minimum of $250. However, a minimum penalty will be retained for training violations, now to be set at $450.

Below is a sampling of the price of non-compliance. The list is comprised of a wide array of companies from various regulatory agencies (dates are by citation, not occurrence).

January 2013

EPA: A cold storage and ice manufacturing company was ordered to pay penalties of $225,000 for violating federal Clean Air Act requirements meant to prevent chemical releases. The company failed to implement the required Risk Management Plan relating to the use of ammonia at a number of its facilities.

February 2013

OSHA: A railway company was ordered to pay $1,121,099 for violating the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

March 2013

EPA and Hawaii State Department of Health: A ship repair and dry dock facility on Oahu was fined $710,000 in civil penalties for water pollution control violations. This was the largest Clean Water Act civil penalty against a ship repair facility nationwide.

April 2013

PHMSA: A compliance order and civil penalty of $104,800 was assessed to a pipeline holding company for failure to comply with pipeline safety regulations. The violations pertained to inadequate firefighting equipment and improper inspection and testing record keeping.

PHMSA: After a two-year investigation, a fine of $1.7million was proposed as a result of failing to implement measures to address known seasonal flooding risks to a pipeline system. Additionally, the company failed to establish written procedures to protect the pipeline from floods and other natural disasters, which would have minimized the volume of oil released.

May 2013

OSHA: A company that manufactures wood shavings for animal bedding was assessed $233,870 in proposed fines. Violations included 28 repeat and serious violations of the workplace safety and health standards.

June 2013

PHMSA: Proposed and collected a civil fine of $235,600 with a pipeline company that neglected to implement response plans, emergency shutdown processes, and inspections regarding the facility compressor station.

August 2013

OSHA:  An Ohio steel manufacturing plant’s compliance 24 violations added up to fines totaling $1,138,500. Fifteen of the non-compliance aspects included willful violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards

September 2013

EPA: A refinery’s parent company was issued a $8.75 million penalty for failing to comply with a 2007 settlement that resolved violations of the Clean Air Act. Between 2007 and 2011, the company violated numerous requirements of the initial settlement, including failing to comply with emissions limits. The company also failed to perform corrective actions or to analyze the cause of over 70 incidents involving emissions of hazardous gases through flaring.

October 2013

PHMSA: A pipeline company was assessed a $20,000 fine for failing to present written documentation of public awareness (as recommended by the American Petroleum Institute), and failing to providing baseline material to emergency responders or excavators.

November 2013

OSHA: An Arkansas-based meat processor was issued a total of $121,720 in proposed fines for violations at various sites. The inspection, which began on May 15, 2013, was conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses. OSHA found a cross section of mechanical, electrical and fall hazards, as well as several deficiencies in the process safety management program. The hazards include failing to guard skylights and roof hatchway, guard a press, provide safety-related work practices to prevent electric shock and arc flash burns, and provide workers with protective equipment when using energized equipment. 

December 2013

EPA: A paint manufacturer was penalized $153,917 for violating federal hazardous waste laws. Violations included failure to properly identify hazardous wastes, failure to properly label and store hazardous waste containers, and failure to train personnel who manage hazardous waste.

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Tags: DOT, OSHA, Emergency Preparedness, EPA, Regulatory Compliance, Emergency Management Program

Don't Get Caught Non-Compliant: Top Tips for Regulatory Compliance

Posted on Thu, Jan 23, 2014

In early January, a chemical leak from a Freedom Industries storage facility caused West Virginia American Water to shut off the water supply to nearly 300,000 people. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection identified five violations which will likely result in substantial fines. In addition, criminal penalties may be pursued.

As demonstrated month after month, compliance is a requirement, not an option.  Some argue that the bureaucracy is riddled with inefficiencies. However, the “rules” are aimed to protect communities and the surrounding environment.  According to David Hall’s Wall Street Journal article, The Morning Ledger: Companies Beef Up Compliance Departments, “Hefty fines and other penalties have jolted companies, especially banks, into a compliance hiring spree, as governments at home and abroad tighten business laws and regulations and ramp up their enforcement activity.” Compliance costs are typically lower than the expenditures associated with non-compliance fines, litigation, reputational risk, and government mandated shutdown of operations. Companies must implement a budget that ensures regulatory compliance.

Managing regulatory compliance for industrial facilities can be a daunting task. Industrial facilities must operate profitably; yet comply with a complex array of federal, state and local regulations.  The consequences of disregarding the various required elements can be corporate self-destruction.

Key concepts for managing regulatory compliance from a corporate perspective include, but are not limited to:

Database Technology

Technology is a useful, and relatively inexpensive tool that enables companies to monitor continually evolving regulatory requirements. In recent history, companies have utilized Excel spreadsheets to manage requirements. However, as a company expands or new regulations are implemented, spreadsheets can become overwhelming, ineffective, and time consuming. Larger operations should consider utilizing database technology to ensure that compliance can be effectively managed on an enterprise-wide level. Utilizing a database limits the duplication of tasks generated when multiple agencies have regulations that are related to the same subject matter.

Available Expertise

Internal resources or outsourced compliance expertise can enable a company to leverage regulatory knowledge enterprise-wide. In order to focus on core business components and reduce managerial and administration efforts required to manage compliance, companies can examine utilizing consultants to ensure appropriate response planning and compliance measures.

Facility-Specific Regulations

A company must recognize mandatory submission requirements and tasks for each facility associated with each regulatory requirement. The implementation of a tracking management system that can eliminate redundancies across converging compliance requirements is extremely beneficial for organizations that have multiple applicable regulatory requirements.

A methodological tracking system should itemize applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and include categorical information that satisfies that regulation. A tracking system should, at a minimum contain the following components: 

  • Operational categories: Categories can range from air quality and hazardous materials, to construction safety and general safety and health. Depending on the detail required by the regulations, further breakouts by subcategories may also be required.
  • Applicable Regulation Level:  Regulations should be further broken down to Federal, state or local regulation categories.  
  • Time/Date Stamping: The Time and Date that each regulation was last updated.
  • Compliance Feedback:  Applicable notes regarding compliance or non-compliance.
  • Industry Standard:  Apply best practices related to compliance with specific regulatory requirements, when practical to do so.
  • Cross-reference: Itemize list of additional regulations that may be applicable to the information provided.
  • Facility Compliance responsibility: Identify contact assigned to maintain compliance for each regulatory requirement.
  • Action Item Reporting: Provides a list of outstanding and completed action items, along with due dates and person(s) assigned. Reports should have filters to customize queries as required by the users.
  • Search Functionality - Create the ability to search database for key words and phrases associated with regulations.

One of the most important aspects of maintaining compliance is ensuring that required response plan and associated revisions are submitted to the proper regulatory agencies in a timely manner. The various agencies have different submission requirements regarding initial and plan revision compliance.

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Tags: DHS, DOT, OSHA, CFATS, Response Plans, EPA, Regulatory Compliance